Looking back at SXSWi 2010

One week on, the dust has settled, the air miles and carbon emissions have been racked up, the bacon grease is sitting comfortably in those arteries and SXSW 2010 is over. How was it for you?

I went to Austin as a SXSW n00b, expecting something spectacular. I was disappointed. I’ve been reliably informed that this is the general n00bish experience, and that if I go again, my overall appreciation of the event will be much improved. Or my expectations lowered. Something along those lines, anyway.

For this first trip to SXSWi I joined the Digital Mission funded by UKTI which gives UK companies in the tech space a helping hand in exploring and expanding into new business markets.

This year the UK tech scene was represented by (deep breath) Amberlight, Audioboo, Blueleaf Digital, Brainient, Codegent, Codility, Cube Interactive, Face Group, FreshNetworks, GigLocator, Howard Baines, Illumina Digital, KMP Digitata, Likecube, Little World Gifts, Littleloud, Mendeley, Mobilized, MOFILM, Moonfruit, MusicMetric, Nsyght, oneDrum, Orange Bus, PageDo, Pixeco, Plug-in Media, Qhub, Rummble, Silence Media, Skimlinks, Slicethepie, Smidgn, SubHub, TweetJobs, UberVu, Vibio, Videojuicer, Wolfstar and WorldTV.

For these companies, and for the thousands more that were represented, SXSW was a massive networking opportunity. As with any big event like this, most of the action happened outside of the conference programme, at the parties and on the trade show floor.

At this point, I’d intended to include some video shot on my trusty Kodak Zi8. However, as nifty as the Zi8 is, it makes no allowances for people who accidentally delete their footage in the brainfog of jetlag. Techfluff.tv to the rescue!

See more at the Digital Mission blog.

I tried to make the most of the panels and conference sessions, but honestly, there was just too much choice. It seems the SXSW organisers prefer a hit-and-miss approach to quality control. It keeps you on your toes – or rather, your feet, as you’re constantly hopping between sessions to find something worth listening to. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t.

One panel to pique my interest was What Guys are Doing to Get More Girls in Tech. And you can find out more about that over on Computer Weekly’s WITsend blog, and finally, there’ll be a report on this blog later today about the top three tech trends I spotted in Austin.